Sleepy Skeptic

July 29, 2013

Torah Kachur

Last week I suffered from some terrible sleeps, whether it was the pizza I ate or the early morning wake up calls, I blamed my 3am wide-awake-and-staring-at-ceiling nuisances on everything but the full moon.


Moon cycle torah kachur sleeping lunar circalunar


Then someone I was telling about my midnight struggles said "oh, it's totally because of the full moon".  I immediately dismissed this woo and naturopathic nonsense.  Until of course a peer-reviewed paper published in Current Biology said just that, the full moon disrupts sleep patterns.  A healthy dose of skepticism is always a good thing, but it has to be followed up with research and if you are proven wrong, you are wrong. 


I was wrong.  The study analyzed 33 individuals and charted their sleep with the phases of the moon.  By all reports, they did not have to say "goodnight moony-woony" every night as I would have made them do, but even if they weren't aware of the moon phase, they were affected by the circalunar cycle.  The fact that the moon cycle affected sleep was surprising enough, but the researchers also found that it disrupted deep sleep by as much as 30%, hence my 5am text-messages last week. 


We know that there are many aspects of our physiology dictated by the sun, our ciradian rhythm controls everything from sleep-wake cycle to hormone levels.  But the moon shouldn't have been a victim of my skepticism, our menstrual cycle follows a roughly 28 day cycle which is the same as the moon, however, there is yet to be scientific evidence that the moon influences a woman's cycle.  After this recent research, I shall put my skepticism to bed and assume that the moon is more powerful than we ever imagined.



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